Last month it was revealed that Disney had pushed back the UK release date for Ant-Man & The Wasp by almost a month, meaning we'll be getting it on 3rd August rather than the 4th-6th July like most of the world. Many have blamed the World Cup for this move, and The Incredibles 2's delay, because the football cult is apparently so strong people can't drag their eyes away from inter-match coverage for three or four hours. Now the film's stars have had their say, and they aren't happy either.
Speaking to Comic Book Movie, both Evangeline Lilly (The Wasp) and Pull Rudd (Ant-Man) had some less-then approving tings to say about people in the UK being forced to wait so long. Mainly Lilly, who mimicked comments made by Marvel fans after the initial announcement:
"They always do that," the latter points out, clearly frustrated by this. "Then what happens is people just pirate the movie and they see it in the worst way possible, like some shitty version online, instead of going to a theater. They go in the end, but I don't like that staggering. I'm really going to get to the bottom of this for you. I'm as pissed off about it as you are."
Paul Rudd wasn't quite as critical, but did share has his own thoughts (jokes) to share too:
"I don't understand. Let me see if we can maybe get the World Cup moved."
Lilly does have a point. While it's easy for Disney to worry about the takings for a sequel to one of Marvel's lowest-grossing films, and one that many people dismissed before it had even come out, the decision is still pretty baffling. For one football isn't on all the time, so there's still plenty of opportunity to go and see a film at the cinema at a convenient time. If this had been the first Ant-Man film (or even something like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1) those concerns might not be as ridiculous. But this is a sequel to a film people enjoyed, and it made enough money to warrant one in the first place.
The weird thing is that the UK is one of the worst off when it comes to release delays. If this release calendar from IMDB is accurate only three countries are getting Ant-Man & The Wasp after us: Italy, Portugal, and Japan on 14th, 15th, and 31st August respectively. Japan is a bit more understandable, and often gets films a bit later than other countries, but Italy isn't even at the World Cup this time around.
It's also been delayed in Western Europe, but not by nearly as much. It arrives in Belgium, France, and Netherlands on 18th July (12 day wait), Spain on 20th July (two week wait), and both Germany and Hungary on 26th July (20 day wait). We have to wait over a week longer than the Germans, who arguably have a much better shot at winning the World Cup than our sorry excuse for a national team. What's more annoying that even countries typically known for football love like Argentina and Brazil aren't having to wait, and neither is Russia. It's hosting the damn tournament and will still get to see the film on 5th July.
So none of this makes any sense, and while I'm sure Disney will have some things to say about its stars badmouthing executive decisions in interviews Evangeline Lilly makes a very good point. If you are desperate to see the film, don't pirate it. Wait 12 days, get the Eurostar to France or Belgium, and find yourself an English-screening while trying to ignore the subtitles.
Meanwhile I've emailed Disney to check IMDB's data is accurate, and whether it has any comment on the delay. [CBM]